Back to basics for peanuts
WITH a significant peanut plant expected across New South Wales this year, growers are being urged to keep it simple when it comes to agronomic management to maximise yield and quality.
Over the years, peanuts have attracted a reputation as being easy to grow but difficult to grow well given their reliance on adequate water, nutrition and protection from weeds and diseases, resulting at times in concerns over unreliable yield and quality.
However, plantings are on the rise as growers increasingly embrace the rotational benefits of improved soil nutrition, broader weed control options and more effective management of soil-borne pests and disease.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries principal agronomist and project leader of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Coastal and Hinterland Grower Solutions Group, Neil Halpin said recent research had highlighted the importance of factors such as time of sowing, row configuration and plant population.
The research is part of a GRDC investment into tactical agronomy focussing on optimal legume selection within a cane system and maximising the productivity of Kairi. Kairi is a new variety offering improved foliar disease resistance to rust and higher yield potential that was jointly developed by Peanut Company of Australia, GRDC and DAF.
“In the cane/legume rotation research, both the Kairi and Holt peanut varieties generated a significantly higher gross margin than soybean, mungbean, pigeon pea, or cow pea when grown in rotation with cane, returning over $3000/hectare,” he said.
“In terms of maximising the productivity of Kairi, research over the past couple of seasons has focused on factors such as time of sowing, plant population, row configuration and nutrition inputs. When it comes to yield response, population was found to be the dominant factor.”
For more info head to www.grdc.com.au/grownotes.